italian stuffed peppers (and tomatoes)

jason has been asking for stuffed peppers for a couple months now that they're a mere $0.25 a piece at the market, i figured it was time to give it a try.

for my first attempt, i chose to make them italian style, since i also had homemade pasta sauce, carrots from the market, and basil and oregano from my garden.

the grated carrots may seem like an odd addition but they add a good sweetness and almost act as a thickener for the filling. i used my microplane ribbon grater to get small pieces that blend in to the rest of the filling. if you don't have a microplane, small holes on a box grater would work.

i didn't make the peppers and the tomatoes on the same day. i refrigerated the filling i had leftover from the peppers and make the tomatoes the next night. i much prefer the tomatoes - their sweeter flavor went well with the filling - and jason much prefers the peppers. to each his own.

overrun by zucchini? i bet this filling would be great for zucchini as well. cut the zuke in half, lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds. fill each half and bake at 375F on a sheet pan for about 30 minutes.

...and if you want to make this one meatless, simply omit the ground beef from the filling.

italian stuffed peppers and tomatoes
1 hour 20 minutes (includes baking), serves 4, makes enough for 4 peppers and 8 sm/med tomatoes

1/2 pound ground beef
1 cup dried orzo pasta
2 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups your favorite pasta sauce (or homemade sauce)
2 finely grated carrots, about 1 cup
2 ounces fresh mozzarella, finely cubed
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, minced (or a pinch of dried)
1/4 cup fresh basil, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 sweet peppers
8 small/medium (a little smaller than a baseball) tomatoes, use larger tomatoes if you have them
  1. preheat your oven to 400F. place a strainer over a square baking dish.
  2. brown the ground beef in a saute pan over medium low heat. set aside.
  3. bring the vegetable broth to a boil and cook the orzo, about 4 minutes. drain the orzo with the strainer, so the vegetable broth is in the baking dish.
  4. in a large bowl, combine the ground beef, orzo, pasta sauce, carrots, mozzarella, parmesan, garlic, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, and olive oil. mix well.
for peppers -
  1. cut a small slice off the bottom of the peppers so they sit flat in the baking dish. be careful not to cut all the way through the bottom or the filling will fall out.
  2. cut the top off the pepper and remove the insides.
  3. fill each pepper and place in the vegetable broth baking dish. cover with foil and bake about 45 minutes. remove foil, dust with parmesan cheese, and bake an additional 15 minutes.
for tomatoes -
  1. if the tomatoes don't sit flat, cut a small slice off the bottom. be careful not to cut all the way through the bottom or the filling will fall out.
  2. slice off the top of the tomato and hollow it out.
  3. fill each tomato and dust with parmesan. bake on a baking sheet for about 10 minutes, or until the filling is hot and the cheese has browned.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...